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Clamping in differnt orientations in tight spaces....

Clamping in differnt orientations in tight spaces....

Clamping in differnt orientations in tight spaces....

This is abit long winded, but I hope it is clear as I'm stuck!

I am trying to come up with a way to clamp various sizes of metal in different orientations (top, bottom, right, left, front and back).  
What we want to do is take metal pieces (of the same dimention), place as many in/on a tray and place it into a machine so it can do it's work, pull it out and put the next batch in.

Key items:
-Each metal block is rectangular (edges are squared) and will be placed in the same orientation
-Each block MUST stay tight together and at 90 degrees to the surface
-I only have about 736mm wide x 431mm deep x 228mm tall to work in
-There is little vibration, but some of the pieces are 12mm x 20mm x 120 mm therefore cannot stand up on its end by itself
-Tray needs to be some what light so an operator can lift it out of the machine
-Smallest height is 4 mm

My first idea was sheetmetal and stamp out the profiles needed. Using 2 of these seperated by a distance should keep it at a right angle. I was avoiding this because there are 4 different sizes right now and I need 2 of each, thus having to create 24 holders (1 for left & right, 1 for top & bottom, 1 for front & back x 4 sizes x 2 required). If one of the sizes change, I'll have to get 2 more made.  This also runs into storage space finding room for the other 22.

The next idea was a box with 2 arms, one horizontal and the other vertical.  The horizontal one was 30mm tall had a slot in the middle that was big enough to pass the vertical one thru (about 15mm). The problem with this is the horz one rode on the bottom, the vert was 7 mm from the bottom. This left a gap of 3 mm above the thinest part.

Anyone encountered anything like this before or has seen something that may do the trick?  One universal unit is very much desired.

Any input is greatly appreciated

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